Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made a stop in Sault Ste. Marie to meet with Mayor Christain Provenzano on several issues including Essar Steel Algoma, Electricity prices and the by-election.
Wynne took questions from the media following the meeting and before moving on to Sault College for a funding announcement and to Algoma University to announce changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
When asked about Essar Steel Algoma, currently under CCAA protection, the Premier did not rule out financial help. “Our concern is obviously for the families for the workers, we will do everything we can without overstepping our boundaries” Wynne remarked.
“I travel a lot in this province and Sault Ste. Marie is a very important part of this province” Wynne said when asked about the by-election call she needs to make for this riding to replace the vacant seat left by David Orazietti in December. Orazietti left politics and was later hired as dean of aviation with Sault College. Wynne has until June 30th to call the by-election.
“There will be a call for the by-election in due course ” The Premier acknowledged that Orazietti’s resignation took her a little by surprise. “We will have a good candidate for Sault Ste. Marie”
Moving on to electricity prices, a hot topic with the Liberal government’s energy policies, the Premier confirmed that more relief is on it’s way before the Spring budget. The Premier would not elaborate more on what kind of relief is coming for millions of Ontarians faced with crippling Hydro bills.
Premier Wynne Visits Algoma U
Today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, along with Minister Michael Gravelle and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Han Dong, visited Algoma University’s campus to speak with students about the changes being implemented to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and to hear students’ concerns.
“We are very honoured to have had Premier Wynne, Minister Gravelle and MPP Han Dong visit us today and speak with our students,” said Acting President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Celia Ross. “The changes coming this September to OSAP funding will be a big help and encouragement to students from low income families attending post-secondary. Premier Wynne’s visit was also a great opportunity for our students to have their opinions heard by the Ontario Government.”
Survivors of the residential school system joined students to show Premier Wynne the photo archives at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre. Wynne also talked to students in the Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association Lounge, and toured the newly expanded George Leach Centre. A group of students from the Ontario Native Welfare Assistance Association voiced their thoughts about wage disparity between First Nations communities and non-First Nations communities, the cost of food, poverty levels, hydro and electricity costs, transportation, child benefits, and mental illness.
“It was a great opportunity meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne today,” said AJ Idris, President of the Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU). “She was very open to students’ inputs and concerns. The student voice was heard and we look forward to seeing the positive changes she can bring to post-secondary education.”